The Senate Wednesday confirmed two former state representatives who've been accused of being rewarded with state jobs for flip-flopping on issues. Both men campaigned against a tax hike, only to vote in favor of it after losing election. Republicans charge Governor Pat Quinn gave Democrats Bob Flider and Mike Smith state jobs as payback. Quinn put Smith on a state board that pays its members 94-thousand dollars a year. He appointed Flider to be director of the Department of Agriculture. Republican Senator Dale Righter of Mattoon says Flider is one of the nicest guys in the Capitol ... but that's not the issue:
"The issue here is that he campaigned ardently in one way and then when he came back here he voted opposite of that and then suddenly was tapped to be appointed to a job that probably pays $30,000 or $40,000 more a year."
Flider says he and Quinn never discussed the his becoming ag director in relation to his vote on the 2011 tax hike. Flider says he changed his mind about raising the income tax after the state's financial condition worsened. Republicans also say neither Flider nor Smith have the qualifications for their jobs. The governor's office denies the appointments were a reward.
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